Many people don't know the Louisiana connection to the death of actress Jayne Mansfield. 51 years ago this week, she was making the quick trip between Biloxi, MS and New Orleans when she rear-ended a truck in a crash that killed her instantly. Mansfield was decapitated. Two of her children who were sleeping in the back seat were the only survivors. Authorities say they only survived the horrific crash because they were laying down in the back seat.

Actress Mariska Hargitay, best known for her role on Law and Order: SVU, was one of those two children in the back seat. She has spoken out publicly about how she dealt with the death of her mother at the age of 34.

This interview from 1992 details the crash.

The death of Mansfield actually led to one major reform in the trucking industry. If you have ever been behind a heavy truck, you may have noticed a bar installed on the back closest to the ground. This bar is commonly known as a Mansfield Bar, because it protects a car from going under a big rig in a rear end crash.

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